Evening Lectures at Hycroft

Up Next: False Creek, the Industrial Waterway with John Atkin


Located at Hycroft, VHF’s Evening Lectures offer illustrated talks that look at the history of Vancouver, covering the events, movements and people that shaped our city. The talks are co-hosted by Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the Hycroft Heritage Preservation Foundation.


Fall 2017

Register Here


$15 or $9 (incl. tax) with a valid Student ID
Tuesdays, 7:30pm – 9pm
University Women’s Club at Hycroft, 1489 McRae Ave (Street parking is available on McRae Ave. and The Crescent)

What a Mess: False Creek, the Industrial Waterway
Tuesday, October 24th
It’s hard to imagine from today’s perspective that False Creek was once the centre of industrial activity for the city. From the beginning of non-native settlement the waterway became the home to sawmills, shipyards and other heavy industry. This emerging industry destroyed the fishery and displaced the seasonal and permanent settlements along the shoreline that had sustained local First Nations for centuries. This talk with author and historian, John Atkin, will explore the history of industrial development and the Creek’s more recent transformation.

Kitsilano Indian Reserve: Contact to Today
Tuesday, November 7th
Allotted by the colony of British Columbia in the 1860s and expanded in 1876 after the colony joined Canada, the Squamish Indian Reserve Kitsilano No. 6 amounted to 80 acres at the mouth of False Creek. It included the age-old Coast Salish village site of Sen̓áḵw. In 2002, a unanimous five-judge panel of the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a trial court decision that approximately 10.5 acres of the former Kitsilano reserve, which had since disappeared from the maps of the region, should again be Indian reserve. With the decision, the reserve reappeared in the heart of Vancouver. What happened to it between 1876 and 2002? How did it disappear? And what about the other 70 acres, most of which are now Vanier Park, the Molson Brewery site, city streets, or office and apartment buildings? This talk by Douglas Harris, the Nathan T. Nemetz Chair in Legal History at UBC, explores the history of the Kitsilano Indian Reserve and the changing legal framework that surrounds what might come next on this important parcel of land.

( )

Thank you to the University Women’s Club at Hycroft for partnering with VHF to offer this evening talk series, which has seen great topics such as Vancouver's Big Band scene with Dal Richards, Vancouver's neon history with John Atkin, and stained glass with Jim Wolf.


Tuesday, September 19th: Shaughnessy's Backstory
This lecture traced the challenges of resisting shops, schools, churches and frat houses as the local economy seesawed between boom, bust, and wartime housing shortages. Innovative zoning changes in the 1980s allowed some of the mansions to convert to strata and infill their grounds in return for heritage conservation, but a wave of wealthy buyers in the 21st century wanted new, single-family homes prompting the City to establish its first Heritage Conservation Area.  Michael Kluckner explored the early development and history of this significant area and what elements contribute to its historic value.

Tuesday, April 25: Ten Myths About Vancouver - The Real Stories
Was there ever any blood in Blood Alley? There are many aspects of Vancouver’s history that are taken for granted, but are they true? Did it happen or was it made up? In this talk Historian and Author, John Atkin looked at the origins of some of the well-worn myths in our city’s history.

February 21: Stanley Park Sites and Stories - Then and Now
Landscape Architect and Author, Adrienne Brown, explored the cultural impacts that have shaped an area inhabited for centuries that is today called Stanley Park. Brown looked at the places and objects that have come and gone, developments which were envisioned but never built, and described the history of some of the cherished structures and spaces which remain in the park today. 

March 28: Rum-runners and Border Wars - Prohibition in BC
We all know about jazz era gangsters like Al Capone and the prohibition era in the United States, but Vancouver had its own flirtations with prohibition. Daniel Francis, Historian and Author of Closing Time: Prohibition, Rum-runners and Border Wars, explored how local law enforcement efforts to dry-up the city utterly failed, and immense fortunes were made by entrepreneurs willing to answer the demand for illegal booze.


November 29: Who was Major Matthews? 
Vancouver’s first City Archivist, Major James Skitt Matthews, was more than a collector and self-styled historian; he was deeply fascinated by stories big and small about Vancouver. A great deal of Vancouver’s history was captured in his correspondence, subject files and photograph collection. Vancouver’s current City Archivist, Heather Gordon, described the life and importance of this Vancouver figure.

November 1: The Legacy Sites and Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games
Jason Beck, BC Sports Hall of Fame Curator and author of The Miracle Mile: Stories of the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, explored the history of the 1954 Commonwealth Games held in Vancouver focusing on event venue sites such as Empire Stadium, Empire Pool, and the China Creek Cycling Track, Vancouver Forum, Kerrisdale Arena, and Balaclava Park.

October 18th: Sawmills and Opera Houses: The Origins of Chinatown
Sawmills, opera houses, train stations, merchants and entrepreneurs all had a hand in shaping one of North America’s largest remaining Chinatowns. Civic Historian John Atkin explored the origins of Vancouver’s Chinatown and looked at the forces that created and shaped this important part of the city.

May 29th: The Crescent: From the CPR and the Garden City to Today
Landscape Architect and Author, Adrienne Brown, traced the history of The Crescent from its origin as the centre piece of Frederick Todd's design for the CPR's new Shaughnessy Heights neighbourhood in 1907. The talk was followed by a walking tour to The Crescent led by Brown and Landscape Designer, Joelle Sept.

April 5th: How Streetcars and Real Estate Shaped Vancouver
Historian and Author John Atkin examined how today's Vancouver is very much a product of a streetcar system begun in 1889 that would open up vast areas for development.

February 16th: Selling Vancouver to Tourists: 1890 - 1960
What were the "must-see" sites for tourists a century ago and how do they compare with today's? Author and Artist Michael Kluckner explored both the changes in Vancouver as well as the changes in tourists themselves.


November 10 - BC: Lumberyard of the World, with Civic Historian John Atkin

October 27 - Artists, Architects and Artisans: Canadian Art 1890 - 1918, with Charles Hill

September 29 - Vancouverism 1954 - 1991, with Senior Downtown Planner, Michael Gordon

June 2 - A History of Vancouver Apartments, with Michael Kluckner

April 21 - The Wild History of Gastown, with Don Luxton

March 17 - Art Deco Architecture in Vancouver, with Maurice Guibord

February 17 - How it all began: The Bloedel Conservatory, with John Coupar

2014 PREVIOUS LECTURES (click to view)

November 4 - Vancouver's Vaudeville: the Great White Way, with John Atkin and Tom Carter

October 21 - Samuel Maclure in Shaughnessy, Jim Wolf

September 30 - Gentrification, Heritage & the Future of Vancouver,  Michael Kluckner

April 15 - Arts & Crafts Movement of the Pacific Northwest, Larry Kreisman

March 4 - Challenges & Trends: Public Engagement for Community Planning, Dr. Maged Senbel

January 21 - Vancouver as a Sustainable City, Dr. Tom Hutton

Professional Development Credits are dependent on the lecture topic and speaker: AIBC, PIBC, BOABC, BCSLA, AICBC

You can earn 1 Old School credit per Evening Lecture or Brown Bag Talk, to a maximum of 3 towards the Certificate in Heritage Conservation.